Updated: Jan 31, 2021
Gut Health and PCOS: Is there really a link?
Nothing can be more painful than getting diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome at your potential age. Every girl has a motherly nature and dreams, especially when it relates to first-time pregnancy. Sadly, young girls with PCOS struggle with getting pregnant and face certain complications after they conceive. As a gastroenterologist, my study area implies that gut health is the secret of your overall wellness. But the main question is can we alleviate the PCOS condition by improving our gut health? So, let's dive in to learn everything about Gut health and PCOS and how they relate to each other.
A brief understanding of PCOS
Before taking a deep dive into the connection between PCOS and gut health, let's have a brief understanding of what PCOS actually is. PCOS is a health condition, the symptoms of which appear in the late teens or early 20s. It's an abnormality in the female ovaries' functioning that actually relates to the body's irregularity.
If we talk about the symptoms of PCOS, they include:
Irregular or no periods
Difficulty in conceiving
Excessive hair growth on the body
Thinning of the hair
Oily skin or severe acne in some cases
The exact cause of PCOS is yet to be discovered, but more likely, it involves certain genetic and environmental factors.
A recent study included 13 intervention studies to conclude and studies the effects of probiotics and synbiotics. Synbiotics is actually a term used to study the combined effects of probiotics and probiotics in the PCOS condition.
What do the researchers say about that?
The review paper suggests a close relation and benefit of probiotics and synbiotics as they tend to lower the number of hormones in blood circulation. Thus the research shows encouraging effects in PCOS as compared to the results of the placebo group.
So, what to do to alleviate PCOS? Probiotics or Synbiotics, or just healthy eating?
Well, specifically talking about the research that we are discussing, had a limited area of study. It was limited to a specific number and kinds of probiotics. Besides, the study subjects were people of Iranian descent, which limits the study implementation. Though the study had some significant results, surely they were not a cure for PCOS.
PCOS is a complication, and definitely, the severity and nature vary from person to person. So, being a gut health professional, I would like to add that hold off on supplements for now. Instead, it would be best if you focused on engaging your gut with a lot of plant-based diversity. Do go with de-stressing activities and eat more fermented foods. Healthy foods are always a great option and worth trying first. But if you find yourself more inclined towards supplements, do consult with your health-care professional and let them decide what to go with.